Jones Swinging a Hot Bat in June

Garrett Jones is on a hot streak in June after making an adjustment. - Image Credit: Mark Olson

Garrett Jones has made a few adjustments at the plate recently. After struggling in the month of May, where he hit just .206/.231/.397 over 22 games, Jones has been swinging a hot bat for the Pirates in June. Over eight games this month, Jones has already belted out two home runs, which matched his total from all of May, and connected for a double while driving in six. Those long balls came on back-to-back starts against National League Central rival Milwaukee Brewers.

“Just relaxing a little bit more, staying up the middle,”  Jones said of his adjustments. “Just seeing the ball, letting the ball travel. What’s been key has been developing a routine before each game. Just doing the same thing before every game. It’s kind of put me in that same mindset of just going over every point to make sure where I’m at is nice and comfortable so I don’t get into a bad habit or change my swing, or something changing. Just doing that, having a routine on a day-to-day basis has helped with the consistency.”

Jones admitted that when you’re not giving everyday playing time, it can be hard to break out of a slump. Jones saw a stretch where he went just 2-for-30 (.067) in mid-May.

“It makes it a little more difficult,” Jones said. “You work in the cage, but it’s nothing like a game. That’s something that you have to deal with as a player. You try to find your swing when you’re not playing in the cage, really work on your timing. When you get that chance to play, try and transfer it over. When you’re in there everyday, your timing is good, but when you’re not, you really got to battle and key in on that timing and be ready for that fastball.”

Jones’ hot bat is just one of several that has also heated up for the club. While the pitching has held the Bucs in the games for the majority of the season, it seems like the team has started to click on all cylinders. The starters have been solid, the bullpen has been lights out, and the bats have hit a combined .259 average, which is ranked eighth best in the National League during the month of June.

The Pirates also are starting to get noticed for their ‘surprise’ season. They entered game action on Tuesday tied for first in the National League Central and have gone 15-8 in their last 23.

“I think of a lot of guys are definitely hitting the ball better,” Jones said. “We just kept working. We kept grinding out. I just feel like a lot of guys are starting to turn that corner. I was hitting the ball better, Pedro [Alvarez’], [Neil] Walker and [Jose Tabata] Tabby, and everyone collectively as a team, we’re starting to have much better at-bats.”

The Pirates have four active players hitting over a .300 clip in June, while Alex Presley and Andrew McCutchen have hit just a few points shy of that mark. During this month, Jones has hit for a .320/.308/.600 line.

“He’s in a much better place,” Manager Clint Hurdle said of Jones. “He’s 6’4”, 235, we want him to hit like it. Stand tall at the plate. Just a little flex in his knees and get his hands out in front of him. That has been the challenge since I’ve been here to get him to do consistently. I think he’s starting to understand and reap the benefits of, I just need to do a few couple things. I don’t need to do 12 things at the plate. I need to stay tall. I need to see the ball good. I need to get my hands working in front.”

“The other thing, he doesn’t need to try and hit every ball in the river. I try to encourage these guys to be good hitters with power, not power hitters. Hopefully he’s buying into that a little bit.”

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Luis Heredia Will Start Season in State College

Next Story »

Exploring the Arsenal – Justin Masterson

  • Lee Young

    Give him a week or two and he’ll be hitting .200 again. It is what he does. He streaks.

Latest Analysis

  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    10 hours ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    1 day ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    2 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    4 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    5 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    6 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    2 weeks ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles